Saturday, June 11, 2016

Petra may not be the Place of Safety, but it could. It may be somewhere else, but maybe not.

Two of the bigger myths that have occupied Church of God members over the decades is the now disproven and irrelevant man-made doctrine of British Israelism and the heavily promoted myth of Petra being the "place of final training" for the chosen few.

The biggest proponent of the Petra myth was Herman Hoeh, the discredited non-historian on all things historical and biblical.  His "research" is still trotted out today as the end-all truth restored to
the church.

Herman Hoeh wrote in the April 1962, Good News:

 Let's open our Bibles to see why Petra has puzzled scholars and Bible students for centuries. 
   The true Church of God is pictured in Revelation 12. It is symbolized by a woman — the bride of Christ. But it is a persecuted woman — a Church hated by the world. According to verse 6 the Church fled the first time from her persecutors for 1260 years — during the Middle Ages. But verse 14 unveils another flight of the Church — in the very last days. This time the duration is only 3 1/2 years! "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle" — supernatural deliverance — "that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time" — 3 1/2 years. 
   This prophecy has never been understood by the world because the world cannot understand to whom this prophecy refers. It does not recognize who are the true Church. It sees only the false churches, described in Revelation 17
   But consider now the special time of this prophecy about protection in a mysterious wilderness. Notice exactly which period in the history of God's Church the escape shall occur. Turn to Revelation 3:7-13. This is addressed to the Philadelphia Era of God's Church — the Church before whom Christ opens the door to preach His gospel around the world (verse 8). Because this Church has kept Gods word, Jesus promises: "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation" — the time of trial — "which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth' (verse 10). Here is a world-wide terror to come upon all nations. This is not for the slow-moving past. It is a prophecy for the pulsating present the last days of human history — just before God intervenes to set up His Kingdom to bring peace at last. 
   Here is a prophecy for this generation — at the very time God's Church is preaching and publishing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God world-wide. This prophecy is about us! 
   But how will Jesus keep us from the coming trial and persecution? We just read the answer from Revelation 12! There is a place of safety, in a wilderness, for the people of God. 
   But where is that wilderness? 
   That is the mystery that has puzzled so many for so long! God has kept it a mystery so the world would not know. He has even kept it hidden from God's Church in the past so His people would have their minds on their work! It is only those who are having a part in the work of God — who have their minds on the Kingdom of God, not some physical place of protection — who will escape. That escape cannot be planned for in advance. It is a supernatural escape! 
   Remember, if the Christians in Jerusalem in apostolic days had quit their work and prematurely escaped to Pella before A.D. 69, they would have been destroyed by the Roman armies who devastated the city. It was only those who completed the work of God who reached safety in A.D. 69 after the Romans destroyed Pella! 
   That is why God has veiled the exact place of escape from human eyes all these years. But as the days draw closer to the time of the end, the light of prophecy shines ever more clearly! When the moment comes that we need to know where that place of safety is, Christ will make it known. Meanwhile we need to keep our eyes open and our minds yielded — drinking in the implications of prophecy for this Church today! But where does Petra fit in all this? 

An Old Testament Prophecy
   Turn to Isaiah 42:l0-13. Here is a prophecy for today — a time of divine intervention, verse 14. Now read verse 11 from the Jewish Publication Society translation according to the original inspired Hebrew: 
   "Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit" — the descendants of Kedar are the Bedouin Arabs who dwell throughout the Middle East in black tents. Here we have a wilderness located in the Arab world! But continue reading: "Let the inhabitants of Sela exult. Let them shout from the top of the mountains." The inhabitants of Sela? Who are they? And where is Sela? (In the King James Version the word for Sela is translated "rock.") 
   Any Bible student knows that Sela is the Hebrew name of Petra! Sela means Rock — in Hebrew; Petra means Rock in Greek! But Sela or Petra is fundamentally uninhabited today, save for a few dozen wandering Bedouin. These are not the inhabitants in this verse, for notice verse 12: "Let them" — the inhabitants of Petra or Sela — "give glory unto the Lord" — the Bedouin do not know God, they are Mohammedan — "and declare His praise in the islands." 
   Which islands? The islands which Israel inhabits — Isaiah 41:1 and 8. God is certainly not going to use a few uneducated, ignorant Mohammedan Bedouin to declare His glory in the islands and coastlands of Northwestern Europe — where Israel is today! This prophecy resurrection and the return of Christ in power and glory. Christ is going to use His servants — now immortal in the Kingdom of God — to proclaim His intervention and the establishment of His Kingdom over all the earth. He is going to use the very ones whom He is now using to proclaim His message. Then they will finally heed! 
   Isn't this prophecy a clear indication that the place of safety for the people of God who are now doing the work of God — and broadcasting to the islands and coastlands of Northwestern Europe — is in an Arabian wilderness, where the Bedouin dwell and is probably at Sela, or Petra?

Because Armstrongism set itself up as something "special" it had to constantly reinforce the idea that it would be persecuted for its beliefs.  Being such a small church in membership, it was to be persecuted for keeping the truth alive, that for some reason God never had the capability of preserving for 1,900 years.

One of the unique things about aberrant faiths is the desire to make the group special and filled with secret knowledge.  Going to a place of safety and being protected by God was the specialness of Armstrongism.  It is still forcefully advocated by the major false prophets of Armstrongism to this very day.  From Dave Pack to Gerald Flurry, from Almost Arrested Bob Thiel to Rod Meredith and even the more "enlightened" UCG boys.  Petra is always on the back burner ready to be brought forth when a world crisis hits the scene.

Almost Arrested Thiel has yet another post up today about Petra.  Like everything he writes about he will never take a stand on anything.  Petra may be the place of safety, but it may not be, but it most likely could be...well...maybe...  I am surprised that Almost Arrested Thiel is such a milquetoast when it comes to taking theological stands, espically when he was trained by his daddy/idol Rod Meredith, who as "The Man", always took a stand.

Almost Arrested Thiel writes:
"Petra has long held prophetic interest for Christians. 
The Bible tells of a place in the wilderness where some Christians are subject to protection (Revelation 12:14-16). Many have wondered if  this could be Petra in Jordan.
Carnally speaking, Petra is not a place many would pick (cf. 10 safest nations to be in during World War III? Has WWIII begun?). But God may have chosen it or at least somewhere relatively near or like it.
One of many sermons by the Continuing Church of God at the ContinuingCOG YouTube channel and is titled Might Petra be the Place of Safety? 
It covers information such as:
The Bible teaches that a portion of the Christians will be protected in a wilderness area during the Great Tribulation. Might this place be Petra in Jordan? Which places do the Bible show can and cannot be the place of safety? Is the idea of Christians fleeing to an area with caves during the reign of the Beast and Antichrist an old one or a modern invention? Which Christians get this protection and which do not? Will those who do not go be subject to persecution? Do Catholic prophecies warn against this biblical place of protection?
As far as Petra goes there are several clues in the Bible that suggests Petra or a place similar to it. But part of this is based upon where the place of protection is not."
"In terms of its location from Jerusalem, Petra (Sela on some Bible maps) is mainly south and slightly east of Jerusalem. 
Now it is also possible that the actual place could simply be just be near Petra or perhaps the location will be far from it. 
Philadelphians and the Wilderness 

In the New Testament, while not all Christians are promised physical protection, the Philadelphians are promised to be protected from the Great Tribulation and this place is in the wilderness according the the Book of Revelation:"
"Places, such as Petra, are in the wilderness and in a biblically possible location.
Now, because of the fact that Petra is such an important tourist site for Jordan, and because of archaeological considerations, it may not be the place. But it could be or even near the place.
While Petra may not be the place, it is a place to be considered."
You can read his convoluted drivel here: Petra in the news! Could Petra be the place in the wilderness where Christians are protected during the Great Tribulation?



Anonymous said...

Never mind Petra... Maybe we should focus on beautiful Wadsworth, Ohio. On my Sabbath pilgrimage, I noticed that 21st Century Apostle Pack's house is up for sale.
There are even pics of his glorious Apostolic Throne Room!


Anonymous said...

On a hot summer day go sit in your car with the windows up and no A/C running. That will approximate what the temperature is right now in Petra. 100 F. Then lay down on dusty gravel or solid rock. Enjoy your stay.

RSK said...

As a young teen, one of the big doctrinal questions I had for WCG had to do with their reading of Rev 12 - I didn't see how the text supported their interpretation, and couldn't get an answer from multiple pastors. (Admittedly, I didn't realize then how much the "pay and pray" principle dominated "leadership" attitudes in WCG!)

DennisCDiehl said...

Hermann Hoeh said: "Here is a prophecy for this generation — at the very time God's Church is preaching and publishing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God world-wide. This prophecy is about us!"

This fallacy is the basis for all that followed by all the splinters who cling to this proof texted myth. The Book of Revelation is NOT for anyone today. One has to go into denial of the simple introduction that assures the reader that it was for them in the latter half of the deliverance from the Romans first century.

Revelation 1New International Version (NIV)

1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants WHAT MUST SOON TAKE PLACE He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, BECAUSE THE TIME IS NEAR."

The end of the Book of Revelation assures the reader in the first century 'BEHOLD I COME QUICKLY."

How plain does it have to be? The Book of Revelation does not mean what the Church of God prophecy fanatics have made it meant. It's a book that would seem relevant at just about anytime in human history. It is vague enough for meanings relevant to the times to be teased out of it, wrongly, and detailed enough in it's drama to attract all kinds of speculation. It also is a book that almost did not make the Canon because it was always considered enigmatic and confusing.

In The Religion of the Occident, by Martin Larson , explains.

"Revelation was the swan song of Militant Jewish Christianity. When Jerusalem was destroyed, when Rome waxed greater and more powerful, when the False Prophet gained more and more followers (The Apostle Paul could have well been this to Jewish Christians and of the one who say they are Apostles and are not as noted by the Ephesian Church in earlier chapters. Jewish Christians came to hate Paul's teachings as did Jame, Peter and John. Paul's contempt for them is easily seen in Galatians 1-2), when the book itself was proved totally false within two years, when it became evident that the Jewish Messiah-Christ would not come, the Hebrew Christians lost their virility and their cult faded under the combined assault of orthodox Judaism and Gentile Christianity." (Under the Apostle Paul's teachings. Jewish Christians hated Paul with a ferocity exceeding even that which they felt for the Romans.)

Recall that Paul lamented that...
"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes." 2 Timothy 1:15 Ephesus is in Asia and rebuffed him furiously in Revelation. Of course Paul, rather than wonder why EVERYONE had deserted him, simply asked God to forgive them for being so stupid. He never asked himself why evidently.

Vespasian was most likely the "Beast" the Book of Revelation had in mind as Jerusalem was crushed and the Romans drove out all opposition. Together, Paul and Vespasian would be just fine, according to the author of Revelation , thrown in the Lake of Fire.

At any rate, details not withstanding, Revelation, while a great read with trumpets and trombones , angels and devils, death and destruction along with salvation and protection for the chosen few with great promises of more to come, was and is a failed first century prophecy. It was never intended to extend out past its own time with all the issues and drama of that day. No one writes prophecy for thousands of years into the future. NO ONE. Prophecy is written to give those there and then hope for the immediate future and positive resolution of their current problems.

Basing one's life on prophecy , as we have seen over and over, is a slippery slope and a huge waste of life time and energy.

Byker Bob said...

Certainly nobody ever even questioned the quasi-doctrine of Petra while I was a member of WCG (up until '75). However, no one except a small handful of people knew the place even existed at that point in time. Now, it seems, it is one of the seven wonders of the world. Again, another important doctrine of the WCG whose time and date stamp has expired. Or as the license number might read, 2BAD4U.


Anonymous said...

Dennis, an army of 200 million soldiers can only means our time. And the sea and rivers turning to blood, when has this happened previously? You are ignoring many parts of Revelation. Trying to fit square pegs into round holes is not an admirable trait.

Anonymous said...

I really don't care where the place of safety is and don't worry about it until the time comes, if it's Petra that's okay with me, all I care about is that I'm there with the rest.

Connie Schmidt said...


It is indeed PETRA, only its underground, in a huge cavern , 100 stories tall!

Complete facilities include swimming pools, cable TV, gyms, a Starbucks and Pizza Hut delivery! Why not??

Steve D said...

I am glad to see postings of Ambassador Report and other historical teachings of the WCG. Many new members may not be familiar with these ideas or the history of the church of God. The splinters rewrite history like seen in George Orwell's 1984. I think even GTA said that much of HWA's autobiography was fiction. Similar to the WCG, many in the Jehovah's Witness cult probably don't know about some of the cult's earlier history. For instance, the Jehovah's Witnesses built a home located at 4440 Braeburn Road in San Diego. It was called Beth-Sarim, the "House of the Princes" and built for the faithful men of old times, Abraham, Joseph and David when they are resurrected. In the meantime Judge Rutherford, the head of the cult, lived there in luxury (the HQ was in Brooklyn, NY). He was house sitting. Why would the head of the cult be on the opposite coast from the cult HQs? Some say that he was a notorious drunk and they wanted him out of the way (does this remind you of someone moving off to Tucson?) The JW's also condemned vaccinations, aluminum cookware, denied the germ theory as a cause of disease, rather blaming disease on diet and constipation.

Anonymous said...

9.38 AM the JW's have 'dissident' sites like this one. Reading about them, it's striking how similar they are to the Armstrongites. If a JW came to a Armstrongite church, it would be home, sweet home. It seems Herbie copied from them in many ways, rather than looking at what the bible says.

Anonymous said...

@ Connie

With a swimming pool, cable TV, gym and a Pizza Hut there I'm in, I don't care much for Starbucks though. Connie, I'm looking to buy a Mustang Gt soon, do you think there are roads in the underground Petra I can drive around on? So when we meet Jesus in the air and ride back on white horses I'll be driving my pony. Does this mean I have to buy a white Mustang?



DennisCDiehl said...

Anon 6:43

I imagine you also think 600,000 men plus wonen n children and animals, up to 3,000,000 million people left egypt " the self same night". Those at end of line would wait two weeks to start moving. Pooping outside the camp would be a 15 mile round trip. No 185,000 were slain by israel in just one battle much less OT totals of 1.6 million. Apocalyptic literature is prone to exaggeration for effect. If you wish to see. Jewish exaggeration go visit Mt Zion , the koy of all the land. It's a dirt bike hill south of Jerusalem.

Byker Bob said...

It might be insightful to check out the Wikipedia article "Historical Jewish Population Comparisons". I think most people tend to extrapolate backwards from the conditions with which we are familiar today. Prior to the 19th century, the largest cities in the world had populations of only 1,000,000 plus or minus. This put everything on a much smaller scale than our current norms.


Anonymous said...

Back to Petra!


DennisCDiehl said...

Hyperbole is a Biblical writing style used for emphasis not accuracy. Today we might call it exaggeration and if taken literally, can leave you scratching your head over just what does it mean and how can that possibly be....which it does for Western Fundamentalists who try to enforce it's literalness as it erodes literal faith

DennisCDiehl said...

For example, "On Eagle's wings" would mean "You'll get out safely and quickly" and not "You will be born in American 747s from all over the world to Petra" If the Book of Revelation had been for the Russians it would have meant, "You will be taken out on the back of a she bear." lol

itstimecog said...

What evil dwells within us that enables us to, without conscience, openly make a mockery of God?
We call into question almost every doctrine and decree He sets forth in what He calls the Holy Scriptures.
Luk 18:8 …. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Now notice the next verse:
Luk 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Is that the problem? We trust in our own righteousness and in so doing, we despise others including our Savior?

Remember this verse: Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The WCG and splinters are classic examples of the fulfillment of that verse but what about other false Christs out there?
The other groups and/or ways we choose to worship; the ones we place above the very Word of God.

Let me show you something:
Rev 19:10 … of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The testimony of the real Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Therefore, without the spirit of prophecy, the testimony of Jesus is also absent.

Have we not all witnessed that very thing?
Someone read something about a trumpet being blown at the return of Christ and suddenly, the Feast of Trumpets was enshrined as the day Christ returns.
Some even go so far as to claim the Day of Pentecost as the day of His return.
It’s the absence of the testimony of Jesus that promotes such self-righteous false doctrine.
Today we can find far greater and outrageous claims being expounded by again, self-righteous false prophets.
Yet another example is the place in the wilderness where God takes His elect during the Great Tribulation.
Christ reveals its location and who will be there but since they worship false Christs, God withholds that information from them.
It’s all in the pages of scripture, not only the location, those who will be there, and when they will be taken there, but again, the false Christs don’t know and therefore, cannot reveal it to their worshippers.
The false Christs always fall back on Matthew 24:36 where Christ said no one but His Father knew the time and day of His return.
What they fail to understand is that the very same event was detailed in Daniel 12, at the end of which, Daniel is told that all would be revealed at the end time.
When Christ spoke Matthew 24:36, it was only the Father that knew, but once He was glorified, all judgment was given to Him, which of course included the time of His return.
Few realize that the book of Revelation could not have been written had Christ not known the time of His return.
This is what the Christ I worship has to say about the prophesized events.
It unfolds starting on Oct. 3, 2016, the Feast of Trumpets, it is 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) until the return of Christ on April 12, 2020, (Passover and Holy Days), it is also 1335 days (Daniel 12:12) until those taken, will receive their blessing on the Day of Pentecost (May 31, 2020).
The two witnesses start their "preaching the gospel to the WORLD (Matthew 24:14)", not to God's chosen, but to the gentles, on Oct. 25-26, 2016 which is known as "The Last Great Day" (Leviticus 23:36).
Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, (1260 days), clothed in sackcloth.
It is 1260 days from the Last Great Day of Oct. 25-26 of 2016, to the day the witnesses are killed on the Passover of April 8, 2020.
Christ warns His people on the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24), then gathers (seals) them on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:28) when He takes them into the wilderness.

That is what the Christ I worship tells me, what does the Christ you worship tell you?
There is a lot more on this and your future at

Miller Jones said...

True safety never was a place, and it never will be. I think that Dennis makes a great point about who the book of Revelation was addressed to and the fact that much of the material obviously applies to the past. Moreover, wouldn't it be prudent to suppose that a book that is filled with symbolism might be a tad dangerous to interpret literally?

Anonymous said...

6.20 AM So, everyone who disagrees with you is self righteous (no definition given) and worshipping a false Christ. This sort of intellectual bullying is typical of Armstrongite ministers and their sycophants. Everyone who has a different belief is 'without conscious, making a mockery of God.' you would make a good banana republic dictator.

Anonymous said...


You wrote a bunch of stupid stuff.
Then you wrote, "There is a lot more on this and your future at"

Oh, great! Another kooky religious commercial. Excuse me while I go puke.

Sir Bafsalot

itstimecog said...

Hi Mr. Jones, thank you for your post and comments. I value and respect your opinion. Obviously we differ in some areas but are mature enough to respect each others beliefs.

In reply to Anon 10:06, your comments deserve a reply that is at the level of your understanding so here it is: .......................... yes, it's a blank but I'm sure you can relate perfectly to it.

And to "Sir Bafsalot", anon 11:09, as soon as you're feeling better I recommend you take some spelling lessons. Here is a hint, s is not z. Good luck with that, I'm sure it will be a challenge for you but at least you will have something to do for a few hours.

Anonymous said...

it'stimecog 6:35...Maybe it's just me but why do you come across as a self righteous know it all? And even when someone makes a typo you have to play the Grammer cop and slam them as if it is a big deal, of course you are too perfect to ever hit a wrong key.

Anonymous said...

Hello itstimecog,

You wrote, "There is a lot more on this and your future at"

I went to your site and did not find anything pertaining to my future.
I did find your messages that were prefaced with, "This article is revelation to those who have been blessed with understanding and does not apply to the general public."

I have 2 questions.
#1- Do you advertise in The Journal?
#2- Do you suggest I check back with your site to see if I have been "blessed with understanding" at some time in the future? I ask because I don't know if you have an established protocol for people like me.

Thank you and best of luck with righteous endeavors.

itstimecog said...

Hi Anon 4:20, I gave to "Sir Bafsalot" what he had given to me in an earlier post. Compare my reply to Mr. Jones who also was in disagreement with me but conducted himself in a gentlemanly fashion. That I have respect for and conduct myself accordingly.
To you, I do apologize if I present myself as self-righteous but again, I am sharing what my studies have lead me to believe and in the manner they appear.
I design my posts to display my conviction in hopes such will grab the attention of those who are truly interested and at the same time, discourage derogatory replies.
I might add that those same studies prove without a doubt that all will be resurrected, judged, found justified (innocent, as Christ paid that penalty), live another life span at the end of which is a final judgment. That does not include those resurrected at Christ's return as that group includes "tares" as well.
The judgment of 1Peter 4:17 and Revelation 11:1 is presently on the Church of God members. It is my hope that in some way, I will at least make them aware of that and the rest is up to them.
Thanks for your input.
Regards, it"z"timecog.

itstimecog said...

Hello Anon 7:32
On my site I have articles that deal specifically with the Passover, tithing and God's Holy Days and how they relate to and dictate prophecy.
Those who are familiar with the COG teachings are the ones I targeted in those articles simply because the themes would be familiar to them.
An article that most definitely pertains more closely to your future would be "death and salvation".
Prove to and for yourself that while troubling times are just ahead, your future and those of your loved ones is indeed a glorious time. You need to relax and dispel the non-sense foisted on the COG laity as simply that, non-sense. You're going to make it, of that you can be 100% certain.

In regards to "the Journal", no I do not nor do I intend to advertise with them.
Thank you for your post and should you have further concerns, please don't hesitate to present them.
Regards, itstimecog